Gargantuan Blade – Gargantuan Blade

95
,


Artist: Gargantuan Blade
Album: Gargantuan Blade
Label: Journeys End Records
Release Date: Original: September 4, 2022, Re-issue: April 2023
Location: Finland

As metal fans the majority of us hold the music of the old school legends of the 70s and 80s in high regards, be it traditional heavy metal, speed metal or in this case traditional/epic doom metal. Gargantuan Blade have gone one step further with their self-titled debut and both paid homage to these legends and joined their ranks with their own incredible offering.

When Journeys End Records reached out to me and told me that they will be re-issuing an underappreciated 2022 old school doom metal gem I was intrigued. When I saw the amazing fantasy themed album art I was even more intrigued, but the second I heard those vocals and riffs I was immediately hooked. I knew from my very first listen that I had to cover this album, as I’m sure that there are many out there like myself who had this slip under their radar last year.

Samuli Pesonen or as he is known in this band Samuel Wormius has been in a slew of fantastic new wave traditional heavy metal and doom bands. The most prominent of which is The Wandering Midget where he went by the same moniker. The man really knows how to belt it out, with a voice that is equal parts commanding and melancholic. This duality allows him to perfectly capture the energy and essence of music of epic doom metal. For me his vocals are my favourite element of this album and as a longtime fan of bands such as Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice, etc. he ticked all my boxes.

I should clarify that the album isn’t purely traditional doom, it’s also a blend of epic doom and traditional heavy metal. This blend ensures that there’s enough variety on the album that it never feels dull or repetitive. Just as the moody, slower, doom segments start to lose their hold on you things open up to epic heavy metal influenced riffs, changing both the pace and energy of the music. There’s a fine balancing act between the two, ensuring that things always feel depressive and melancholic, but also epic and exciting.

My favourite track for epic doom energy is a tough decision to make between Necromancers Blood and Spectral Pillagers. Each song has its own strengths and deserves praise and respect. Necromancer’s Blood has a more powerful, massive sound to it, with walls of crushing riffs and a more wailed and dramatic vocal approach. The song follows a more traditional, straight forward son structure which works in its favour. Conversely Spectral Pillagers is a far more varied offering that shifts between atmospheric focus and powerful energetic moments. The chorus on the song has a truly epic feel to it and accompanies some killer riffage. In between these segments are moments of more relaxed depressive atmosphere, striking a good balance.

My favourite track for atmosphere is Black Lotus due to the sheer level of emotion in both the vocals and instrumentals, almost feeling like funeral doom at points. This track funnily enough shares some similarities with My Dying Bride’s ‘A Map Of All Our Failures’ in tone and essence, in particular the song The Poorest Waltz. However while there are some clear similarities here, Black Lotus has more of a traditional and epic feeling to it.

Overall I absolutely loved this album and despite having access to the files for review decided to buy a digital copy anyway. This is something that I know I will be coming back to on a regular basis and any fans of epic or old school doom metal will most likely feel the same way.


Listen to and order the album:

Bandcamp




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *